As expected yesterday’s webmaster hangout had question about Penguin update. A user asked
Did Google use the disavow data on the last penguin update on 03/10/13 Penguin 2.1? And if Google runs Penguin again will the disavow data be used?
John Mueller’s answer yes Google used disavow link files for penguin updates. Also he agreed that penguin hasn’t been updated for a long time and it is due anytime soon. Probably may be.
One more interesting question:
We were unable to recover our site since 2013 OCT and suspect penguin ALGO. We already removed all unnatural links. But still not revoke the penalty.
And the answer from Mueller.
Penguin update has not run quite sometime, you can recover if it could be picked up in near future. When the algorithm runs again sites will recover. But you need to see if the problem is not just about links. It could be contents too. So probably you need to check your contents to make sure other factors are not affecting your site.
One thing is very clear from this webmaster hangout video. Google agrees sites will recover only if Penguin update refresh happens. That is what we all were thinking and that is what is proved from Google’s own mouth.
Time to watch out is 30.20